Bax, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Vaughan Williams

BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Brabbins

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Martyn Brabbins 2018 portrait close up

Martyn Brabbins conducts an all-British concert including a classic 20th century symphony and a newly commissioned song-cycle, both inspired by the Great War.

Shocking the audience at its 1935 premiere, the surface violence of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth Symphony conceals the composer’s most classical symphony – a work whose greatest debt is to Beethoven. The symphony’s knotty, introspective drama draws on the composer’s wartime experiences in the Medical Corps, and WWI is also the starting point for Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Last Man Standing. This song-cycle, premiered here by baritone Marcus Farnsworth, sets a new text by Tamsin Collison inspired by WW1 texts and personal testimonies. Bax’s turbulent, 1917 tone-poem November Woods completes the programme.

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